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Question
Posted by: debbie | 2007/04/19

nutrition

hi doc

i'm a Vegetarian (no eggs, fish or meat). I currently take ginseng, multivitamins & evening primrose and sometimes codliver tablets daily. is this too much? what supplements should I be taking?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Debbie
As a strict vegetarian it is necessary to supplement your iron, zinc, and vit B12 intake, plus calcium if you also avoid milk and dairy products (?) and omega-3 because you avoid fish. I would surmise that the 'multivitamins' will provide you with iron, zinc and vit B12 (check on the label if the preparation contains vit B12, iron and zinc? If not, then you would need to take supplements of these nutrients too, but it is easier to take a complete vitamin and mineral supplement like Centrum or Supradyn Forte which contains all the micronutrients at once ), while the cod liver tablets will probably supply omega-3. However, cod liver oil is a very rich source of vitamins A and D which when taken in excess can cause conditions called hypervitaminosis A or D, which can have severely harmful effects, some of which are not reversible. Your multivitamin also contains vits A and D. So I would rather obtain omega-3 from taking Salmon oil capsules. If you don't use any milk or dairy products then it is essential to also take a calcium supplement (Calcium Sandoz or Caltrate) on a daily basis as most multivitamin and mineral preparations do NOT provide 1000 mg of calcium a day which you need for good bone health and to prevent osteoporosis.
Best regards
DietDoc

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